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Staying in Style

Hotels are moving beyond the bathrobe and upping the fashion quotient.

Author Sarah Horne Photography Courtesy of Design Hotels

Image – Courtesy of Design Hotels

IT HARDLY MATTERS if you’re in Hong Kong or Hollywood—you step into the dramatic light of a chic hotel lobby these days, and you can’t help but notice that everyone there, bellhops included, looks ready to walk the runway.

That’s because for the last decade or so fashion houses have been getting in on the hotel trade and outfitting hostelries down to the last doorknob. Book a swank room in, say, Milan, and there’s a good chance that every gummy worm in the minifridge has been “curated” by a fashion visionary. Maison Moschino opened in Milan in March, followed by the April debut of the Armani Hotel in Dubai. And this month, Diane von Fürstenberg– designed rooms become available at Claridge’s in London. The line between hospitality and high fashion is becoming decidedly blurred.

This spring W Hotels, never the sort of company to shy away from the latest and greatest, hired stylist Amanda Ross, once an editor at Harper’s Bazaar, to deepen its relationships with fashion designers and bring her brand of grown-up cool to the hotels’ boutiques. It’s not the W’s virgin foray into fashion (Michael Kors and Gwen Stefani have both designed uniforms for staff at the properties), but Ross’ appointment as Global Fashion Director is an industry first. “Hotels are this third space, not quite public and not quite private,” says Ross, who’s equally at home in the front row at Paris Fashion Week and combing through Barcelona’s vintage stores. “Everything, everyone looks a little better there. Or wants to.”

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